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March 20, 2012

Robert Ricciardi, MA, PhD, Named Chairman of the Department of Microbiology

Philadelphia – Robert Ricciardi, MA, PhD , has been named Chairman of the Department of Microbiology at Penn Dental Medicine; his appointment was effective February 1, 2012.

Dr. Ricciardi has a long-time affiliation with University of Pennsylvania’s basic science departments and Penn Dental Medicine. From 1981-1992, while at the Wistar institute, he served on the faculty of Penn’s Graduate Departments of Microbiology, Genetics, and Biochemistry, and joined the Penn Dental Medicine faculty in 1992, becoming Professor of Microbiology in 1996. He recently served as Chair of the Microbiology, Virology, Parasitology (MVP) Program of Penn’s Biomedical Graduate Studies.

Dr. Ricciardi’s scientific career began with the discovery of a gene mapping technology while a postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School. For many years his laboratory has focused on mechanisms that control gene expression, viral tumorigenesis, and immune escape. In particular, his studies have elucidated a major way by which the master regulator of the immune system (NF-kB) is controlled. In the last few years, Dr. Ricciardi’s laboratory has invented a technology and identified a new target for discovering and developing drugs to block viral diseases, including the bioterror threat, smallpox. Dr. Ricciardi’s translational research program is directed at finding cures to combat other human viral diseases.

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